Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The CarnivAOL is back in town!

  Come on!  Get going!  There are a baker's dozen of journals to explore.  Some of the entries that your fellow J-landers are most proud of.  They are all at CarniAOL.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

In Honor of Those Who Sacrificed

                     

In honor of those who fought, died and sacrificed to keep us free...

...Celebrate!  Celebrate and cherish the freedoms they preserved.  The freedom to live any where you like that you can afford.  The freedom to work at any job you are qualified or skilled for.  Freedom to speak your mind, your thoughts be they politically correct or incorrect.  The blessed freedom to worship the One True God, or any cheap imitations, in whatever manner you deem appropriate.

...Laugh.  Laugh often and loud.    Enjoy every moment of life that you can, for those who have no moments left.

...Reminisce.  Remember them.  Their stories.  Their valor.  Their pride.  Their fears, hopes and dreams.

...Cry.  Cry for those left without sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.    

...Love.  Love deeply.  Love each other. "Don't just pretend that you  love others: really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Stand on the side of Good." TLB,Romans 12:9 Love, as they loved.  Stand, as they stood. Lovingly remember those who loved the most.  For, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." KJV, John 15:13 

This may be a US National Holiday, but many around the world owe their own life and freedom to these same men.  In deed, some of them know better than us the cost they paid and honor they deserve.  And from all who cherish life and value freedom, these deserve respect and honor.   

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Just Do It!

                       (Visit This, That & Hockey for graphics.)

So, how many times has someone crossed your mind:   

I ought to call Jill and see how the interview went. 

I really should stop by and see Jane and the baby.

Maybe I'll send Jack a note later.

Wonder if Pam would like one of these, too?

If it weren't so late, I'd take that neighbor a plate and visit.

The list goes on and on and is often very long. Thought of others.  Good intentions.  Little nudges that creep into our day as we go about the business of living.

So, how often do you actually do the thing that crossed your mind?!  Ouch.  The list is relatively short.  Maybe 10-20% of all the thoughts actually are acted upon.  At least for me.  What about you?

There are numerous reasons we can't/don't act on all those thoughts:

They'd think we were crazy.

It's none of my business.

I don't have the time today.

I'm really short on cash.  Better wait.

My car isn't running very well.

Spouse wouldn't understand.

You get the idea.  I know them all.  I've used them all.  But thank God in Heaven sometimes I don't!!!!!   Sometimes I actually do the thing that comes to mind.  Many times I feel some appreciation for the thing, and that's all.  But then there are the times when I get to glimpse/know the result......and praise be to God!!

I'll share a few briefly with you.  (Names have been changed or omitted.)

Once, I could not attend my Sunday School class and arrived only in time for Worship.  All morning a couple in our area had been heavy on my mind.  Recent injury and surgery.  I walked up to my Sunday School teacher, Sharon.  We both started to speak at the same time.  She had asked in SS for someone to organize to fix food for this family and visit them.  She had no takers.  So they had prayed that God touch & lead the right person to do so.  I had approached Sharon to ask her could we do some ministry/outreach like a meal to this family.  We both got goosebumps standing on that sidewalk, as we realized how God had it all in play.  I organized and delivered a meal.  Expressed our love and concern to them.  When he had recovered enough from surgery, they visited our church.  Later they accepted Christ, rededicated their lives and became members.  Thank you God for allowing me some small part in that!!!

A good while back a dear woman I go to church with had been extremely sick.  In and out of hospitals.  Often out of church.  No real and solid answers or help for her condition.  I was praying for the names on my prayer list.  Nell was on there, of course.  I kept getting a strong feeling to call her.  I thought I'd disturb her rest, no way to know the right time to call.  The feeling just stayed so very persistent.  I finally gave in and called.  Nell had been feeling lonely, hopeless and useless.  Like a burden to her family.  Her thoughts had been suicidal. She had been praying for God to send her someone.  God thank you for sending me!!!

E-cards.  I love them.  Quick and easy way to let someone know you care.  I had been praying for some online friends yesterday.  Decided that some might could use a little cheer, a note and so I sent some e-cards.  Two I started NOT to send.

One because the woman isso very strong in the Lord, I couldn't imagine her having a need.  But her name kept leaping out of my address book and I sent one.  Here is her reply:  "I really needed that at that moment!  Rough day here at work.  Had to go outside and take a few moments to pray and calm down.  When I came back inside I checked my email and there was your sweet card.  Thanks.  God always knows when to send an angel to pick us up when we need it and He knows exactly when to send His blessings.

As for the other, I knew of no specific need in her life.  But, again, the name just seemed to call from my address book.  So I breathed a silent prayer for her and sent her a card.  Here is her reply, "What made you send me that card? I ask because I sent a prayer up to God yesterday. I guess you could call it a prayer more like a whine or moan with tears streaming down my face... "

I hope no one will be offended I used their story anonymously.  And I hope you don't get the wrong idea.  This entry is not about me...it is about how God can use a weak, cracked, dull vessel to touch a life for a moment or for eternity.  It is not who we are, it is who God is.  God makes all the difference!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Walking

  footprints.gif  Jesus invites us every day to walk with Him.  Amazing!  And many days I happily join Him.  Fall right into step beside Him.  It is joy.  It is peace.  It is comfort.  It is adventure. 

And then there are the days when I feel out of sorts and blah and more or less respond to his invitation with "Oh, just let me sit here and ruminate!  I am tired of walking."  At first it feels good, but sooner or later I am sad, or upset or lonely.  I find myself wondering what could have been that day.  Or running; running to catch up.

On the days when we're walking together, sometimes my Lord will stop to point something out to me.  Often I'll be patient, listening to His voice, awaiting what He desires to reveal.  Other times I'll jump the gun and dart off in the direction he motions to, without a thought....without a prayer.  And I loose out on an opportunity to grow, to learn, to join Him in something bigger than I.  

On some walks, I let my attentions wander or dawdle off after something that has caught my eye.  Soon I realize that Jesus is not so near.  Or I find myself stuck in the mud, surrounded by brambles and briars.  I fuss and strive and kick around, looking to find my way back to the good path.  Just when I am becoming discouraged and grow still and quiet, I hear Him.  I hear the Masters voice calling, leading me out of the wilderness and to Him.

There are times on our walks when the Lord has to go before me.  The way is steep and hard.  He proceeds me to make sure there is solid footing.  When I stay close and try to match each step I make into His own, all goes well.  But other times I lag behind.  Soon I find myself at a place where I cannot determine how to proceed.  But right on time, just before complete despair, there comes my Shepherd!  Extending His hand.  Retrieving this lamb.  Setting my feet back upon the Solid Rock.    

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Let's All Go to The CarnivAOL

Come one, come all to the CarnivAOL!! 

Have you ever been?  I went recently after seeing a post about it over at Donna's.   I enjoyed getting out of my usually routine and exploring some new places, meeting some new people.  I really think you might enjoy it, too!!  

For any who don't know, it's a place where AOL bloggers can submit an entry that they are proud of, worked extra hard on, or that is close to their heart.  There links to those entries are provided.  I submitted my entry "Mama".  And there are nine other entries listed there this week.

So go explore at the CarnivAOL.  It's open 24/7!     

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

So, Here's How My Mind Works.

I see the reports of the heavy rains and flooding in the North East.  One headline is "Almost Biblical".  Let me start by saying these folks are in my heart and prayers.  I have good, solid, Christian on-line friends up that way.

But, this is how my mind works.  I see this.  And it jogs my memory of a little documentary type show I watched the other evening.  It started by saying that every major civilization in the world has some gigantic flood account.  (Breaking in here with a correction:  they were saying that civilizations scattered throughout the entire world have a major flood story.  Thank you, PLittle, for keeping me honest. ;o)   They may very in detail, scope and lots of things, but they all have one. 

Now, hang on.  Don't want to loose no one.  So my mind jumps to "That in itself should pretty well prove the flood occurred, if you accept some things from the Bible as true."  Bear with me.    Say the flood happened exactly like the Bible says.  Whole world covered.  Mankind starts again from Noah's offspring.  Mankind gets cocky and builds the tower of Babel.  God confuses their language.  So they start to drift apart and go to other regions to live and contact with other groups or clusters slows considerably.  Each little clan,  so to speak, has their own language.  Develops their own customs.  Passes down their own stories in their words, by their people, colored by their life experiences.  In a centuries old gossip game (you know, whisper a sentence in one ear, pass it down through twenty people and at the end you get something that often doesn't have one word of the original) each story takes on its own character and life, reflective of the people.  Now, take by faith that Seth's descendents who stayed in the region and closer to God in general, kept the story line truer to form.  Take by faith that the account Moses recorded in Genesis was inspired by God and he was the Editor in Chief.  There you have it.  Not hard to believe at all.  Simple to understand the different traditions passed down. 

Now, my mind jumps to the Gospels.  Four narratives by four men about our Lord Jesus.  Some folks just can't get passed the fact one story is in one gospel and not another......that two gospels tell what appears to be the same story with a different light, or spin.  Well, let's go to a football game.

Makes no difference who's playing, but for the sake of argument we'll say it's the 49'ers and the Saints.  Let's put Matthew in the press box.  Give Mark a bench seat with the team.  Stick Luke in the general admission.  And John hitches a ride in the blimp overhead.  All four men see the same game.  But you can bet they are gonna have some very different stories to tell of it when they all gather back at the club the next day.  One view is up close and gritty.  One view is aided by much stats and instant replays.  One is ..... well average.  See some, miss some.  And poor John....all he sees are ants. 

Now add to this that these men were all different.  Each writing to a different audience and for a different purpose in each epistle.

Matthew (A jewish tax collector):  Shows us Jesus as King, the messiah who fulfills the promise of God in the Old Testament. - written for the Jews

Mark:  Shows Jesus as the Servant who does God's will and records more miracles than any other for  he wrote it for the Romans, who valued deeds far above words.

Luke (A gentile and a physician):  Showed us Jesus as the Perfect Man, God incarnate.  Traces his genealogy back to Adam.  Shows Jesus often in prayer.  Written for the Greeks, the intellectual thinkers of the times.

John:  Shows Jesus as the Son of God as his diety is revealed in every chapter, that all might believe.

And each guided by God.  They are all valid accounts.  All honest in their reporting.  But each with a different flavor or emphasis, accordingly. 

And thank God!  Thank God we have a multidimensional picture of Him! 

Comprised by 66 books, written by 40 authors over 1600 years.  Penned in 3 languages and upon 3 continents.  Yet there is continuity of direction and purpose. 

Friday, May 12, 2006

Welcome! Come on in!

I'm delighted you stopped by!  This is an exciting day for me.  I'm actually a Guest Editor's Pick!!  Mary is the Guest Editor this week.  It means a lot that she chose to feature me.  After all, she was one of the first people to visit and comment in my journal when I came to J-Land.  She has been a friend and an encourager every step of the way.

If you are an old friend, stay and celebrate with me.  If you are a new guest, grab a cup of coffee and stick around so we can get to know each other.  Above all, just relax and enjoy yourself.  ;o)

Barbara

 

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mama

                DsDesignsAllYourDreams.gif
                                               (Graphic by Donna.)
Some of you may remember the entry I did back at the first of the year featuring some memories of my Daddy.  My niece, Paige, read that entry and sent me an e-mail saying how nice it was to hear about her Paw Paw she remembered so little of.  Then she went on to say how much she'd like it if I did a similar one on Mama.  Sounded like a good idea, and with Mother's Day fast approaching, I thought I would.
Jesse Ruth was the oldest daughter of four.  Named after her daddy, hence the male spelling, and her mama's middle name for her own.  Her daddy, Daddy Jess we all called him, had rode to Texas in a covered wagon as a boy.  He was one of the first people to own a model T in this rural part of Southeast Texas, and from that became one of the first mechanics at one of the oldest dealerships in the area. 
Growing up on the heels of the great depression, Mama always knew how to get the most out of anything.  She told me many times of how her Mama had to wash one dress on a rub board while she wore the other to school, as she only had the two.  Once while growing up, their house burnt down and the family had to start all over.  Had nothing but crates for furniture for some time.  So, even years later, we had to turn inside out and save every empty bread bag and twisty tie as they might come in handy.  I learned you just cut the mold off of cheese or pinched it off of bread and ate it anyway.  Cereal gone stale?  No problem, toast it a little before you put it in the bowl.  And substitutions, like one tablespoon vinegar in a cup of sweet milk  will sub for buttermilk in a pinch.   
She attended school back in the day when the later years were aimed at schooling a girl in how to be a good wife and homemaker.  So, if you knew how to write a proper recipe, Mama could cook it.  When we'd go clothes shopping, she'd often shake her head when she looked at the inside of the clothes with raw salvage edges and un-hemmed seams.  That was no proper way to make a garment!  So, she sewed as many of mine as she ever bought.  I can still smell the fragrance of new fabric.  Each one was an original.  Never had to worry about running into my twin.
I still have Mama's original Josie Party dress in the cedar chest.   That's what they called it when the older folks would chaperone and let the younger folks get together for some square dancing.  The other great entertainment she enjoyed was taffy pulling's.  She'd tell of getting partnered up with buttered hands to pull and twist the taffy.  I always wanted to have one.  But we never did it.
I think Mama loved music very much.  Her own voice was an alto.  Nice to the ear, though not real solo material.  But to me it was heavenly!  She'd rock me and sing old songs she'd learned in school.   I entrusted my sister not long back with Mama's original songbook.  See, before Ipods and such, they simply wrote the lyrics down in a book, memorized the melodies and got together to sing the latest tunes.  Most of what Mama sung to me were songs from this book, many originally in popular movies of the day.  "Will You Love Me When My Little Ford Is Through?" & "Red Wing" being two examples.
I remember going to see the movie "Reds" with Warren Beatty when I was just out of college.  Thought it was a very grown-up thing to watch.  But was bored out of my mind.  There I was half asleep when I heard "Once there lived side by side, two little maids....." coming over the sound system.  I was so surprised, I jumped to my feet and squealed, "Mama used to sing that to me!"  My date knew I was odd already, but then the whole theater knew.
Mama married and started housekeeping with the boy next door, so to speak.  I have her Woman's Home Companion Cook Book from 1943, which includes a post script "As this book goes to press our country is at war.  Inevitably certain food shortages will develop....."  and when I sew, I still sew on her old cast iron Domestic.  Modern machines can't do near the quality stitches, especially button holes, as that old relic.
In between Quinten in the Navy, Mama gave birth to two girls.  Edna and Sarah.  Two years apart.  The war over, he came home and eventually went to work at a car dealership making $40/week.  They thought they had it made!  But marrying young and the war brought change.  Especially to him, in what he thought he needed and wanted.  And Mama ended up with two tow haired girls to raise in a garage apartment while she walked to the doctor's office she worked at each day.  For all the pain and hardship those years must have been, mostly Mama talked about how Edna and Sarah would devise some play or skit while she was gone and give her refreshment while they put on the show when she returned.  If they ever gave her any worry or trouble, she never related it to me.
Then in 1959, she was introduced to Daddy.  They dated.  She fed him buttermilk biscuits.  I suppose that was the clincher.  They wed in fall of '59.  The next year, they got me!  I was the first for Daddy.  The third for Mama.  Edna was 18 and Sarah 16.  And Mama was back at what she wanted most in life to do......be an exceptional homemaker, wife and mother. 
As her grand kids started coming along, I think that being in her 40's and having a young child of her own, kept her in some ways from spending all the time and attention on them that she would have otherwise. 
Mama enjoyed folks and enjoyed being a good hostess.  She was in PTA, she taught VBS, she was in WMU.  In many ways she as very close to June Clever.  Her and Daddy together, raised and canned and blanched many a vegetable.  (Pete & I were still eating out of it when we married!)  I remember ladies (mostly aunts or neighbors) coming over and sitting outside under the large shade trees in those old metal lawn chairs, each with a pot in their lap, chatting, shelling or snapping.  Laughter was frequent.  It was work, but they enjoyed themselves.
Mama is why I know church is important.  She's why I even know God.  (Oh, I still remember how my hiney stung when once I told her Superman was stronger than God!  I think I was 4 or so.)  In my teen years, Mama and I would often have devotions together. 
After Daddy passed away, Mama was in some ways lost.  She'd turn to me for my opinion on which air conditioner to buy or what to reupholster the couch in.  She took that part time job at the library for financial reasons certainly, but also to get out and about and around people, I think.  When I went off to Nacogdoches for college, I swear she knew the instant that Mustang turned off onto our little farm to market road, as she'd greet me most every time I came home in the front yard, arms wide open.
She was lonely.  Singles groups, even Christian ones, often led to disappointment.  Just turned out to be dirty old men every where you looked.  Think cause they bought you a nice supper you should put out.....just like some younger jerk.  Or they'd be convinced a widow just had to have it.  Then, Mama was fortunate enough to meet Polk.  Finally, a gentleman to treat her like a lady again.  I was thrilled to see her happy.  Not, necessarily to see a new man in her life, but to see her happy.
Then, she lost Sarah to that awful snake bite thing.  I think she never knew hurt so very deep.  I thank God she had Polk.  I don't know if she could have lost a child without a husband beside her.  Now, some in the family mouthed later that he caused her to work too hard.  Back in the garden.  Canning and blanching.  But I don't think she would have had it any other way.  And Lord knows that all she ever had to do was mention something once in passing and Polk did it!  A far cry from Daddy.  They'd sit and plan and daydream for hours, often never taking it one step further.  One day Mama told Polk she thought corner cabinets might be nice in the dining room and next week she had them.  She learned to keep a lot of passing thoughts to herself.
Then that awful lupus reared its ugly head.  She wanted to fight it bravely and boldly.  She didn't want to sit back and watch it take its toll like Mama Ruth did.  Although, in that day, there wasn't much Mama Ruth could have done.  So, Mama purposely set out to find an aggressive doctor and treatment.  Everything seemed to be going so well.  She felt better.  But no one knew there was a weak spot in a vessel in her brain.  No one knew an aneurysm would burst and she'd be gone in just hours.  But she leaves her legacy in little strawberry blonde children and the richest desert recipes around.
I pray everyone is blessed with good company and warm memories this Mother's Day.  Thanks for sharing mine.
Barbara

Sunday, May 7, 2006

*Well, there you go

Mama called this "messing and glomming." 

Family Kicked Out of Buffet Restaurant

Looking at the poll, most must agree with Mama.

 

*Update!*    Judging from a few of the comments,

.....Sorry...I agree with it.  There is no reason for that much wastefulness

.....I'm sorry but I have to agree with the restaurant

I need to clarify myself.  I agree with Mama.  And her phrase, messing and glomming, means to waste or leave in such state as no one else can use it.  And the poll reflects that most of the people who responded to it DO agree with the restaurant. 

Kids will be kids, anyone can over-help their plate.  And yes, sometimes at a buffet you are stuck with the burnt edge of the pan and might want to upgrade to a better helping when a new pan comes out.  But normal over-helping wastes only a few bites.  And a parent who knows kids will be kids, will direct them when helping their plate to put only a few bites until the have tried it.  In general, it is always better to go back for seconds than to overfill the first time around.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

And The Winner Is...

Bubba & his stereo box for a 4-wheeler!

Yes, his & Brandon's box won the State TSA competition in their class!!!!!!!

I don't have much in the way of details at this time, but I'm just too happy & proud not to shout it to the world.  Who'd of thought those knuckle heads would pull it off!

 

Friday, May 5, 2006

A Friday Night's Amusement

I am too tired to think clearly enough to write something thoughtful or inspiring.  But I am itching to do something.  So I am challenging you to check the <AGE BAROMETER>.  It's easy, just add up the number of things from the list below that you remember.  (Not that you heard of, that you remember.)  I'll supply the key to the barometer at the end, and even reveal to you my own measure.

1. Blackjack chewing gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles
5. Coffee shops with table side jukeboxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Olive - 6933)
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S&H Green Stamps
16. Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with levers
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulbs
20. Beanie and Cecil
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

 

Got your total items remembered?  Okay, here's the key:

If you remembered 0-5 You're still young.

If you remembered 6-10 You are getting older.

If you remembered 11-15 Don't tell your age.

If you remembered 16-25 You're older than dirt!

Me?  Well, I shouldn't tell my age.  I had plastic soda candies and pretend cigarette candy when I was a child.  Bought Cokes in glass bottles out of machines.  Drank 'em and took the bottles to the grocery store to turn in for a refund.  (Even put bags of salted peanuts down in many of those cokes.  Yum!)  Don't know why they don't still give you the little table top juke boxes.  I  loved flipping the pages and selecting songs.  Waiting for "mine" to come over the speakers next.  I had a party line until they did away with party lines entirely in my area.  Our rate stayed locked in at that party line rate, too.  Bell Telephone thought that it wasn't our fault they weren't providing that service any more.  So we were the only ones on a three party line for years, until we moved about 8 years ago.  P.F. Flyers where good wearing, washing, playing, jumping shoes.  But you could run faster than the wind itself when they were on your feet!  The first telephone number I can recall memorizing started with the prefix, Evergreen.  Remember 45's, heck, I still have almost 300 of them!  Still in their original paper covers. Some of the very best of the 70's for the most part....but some go back much farther.  Only one with a scratch that hangs up is Yo-Yo by the Osmonds.  Now if I could only get them all on cassette or CD?  S&H green stamps, oh yeah.  And Piggly Wiggly.   There was another, too.  I licked a many of them.  My Aunt Billie would save hers up for me to lick for her and reward me with a Hershey bar and a Coke in a bottle.  My first and only hi-fi, me and Mama went to the drug store and bought two albums for when I first got it.  One was Elvis' Flaming Star.  The other we thought was Glen Cambell's greatest hits, but turned out to be only an instrumental, orchestrated version.  Shows how green we were!  I still have a full set of fully functioning metal ice trays with handles.  They are Frigidaire brand.  I thought I was so grownyfied and special when I got to help the church secretary run off papers on the mimeograph machine as a pre teen.  I still remember the wonderful way the pages smelt when you got them.  And sometimes they'd still be slightly damp.  We had the four blue bulbs in a square that would rotate on top of our camera.  They looked real neat once they popped.  I went to drive in theatre as late as my Senior year in High School.  Show Time in Beaumont, TX operated lot longer than most of them did.  Now I think that field is a shooting range.  And that is the fourteen things that I clearly remember from the list.  And that's why I'm not telling anyone I am 45.  ;o) 

Have a wonderful weekend, ya'll!

Barbara

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